Vail Chamber & Business Association: Hard to tell what’s ahead for mortgage market | VailDaily.com

Vail Chamber & Business Association: Hard to tell what’s ahead for mortgage market

Matt Gruesbeck
Vail Chamber & Business Association

The state of the real estate and mortgage market hasn’t quite gone as expected for 2019. In late 2018 the news from the Federal Reserve was to expect quarterly increases to the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate which ultimately led to the mortgage rates rising at the end of 2018. When the Fed met for its first quarter meeting, officials decided not to raise the rate and announced that the originally projected quarterly increases were unlikely.  The Fed noted several factors for this decision. Mainly slowed inflation rates and global economic pressure from Brexit. 

This news from the Fed has certainly had an impact on mortgage rates, which have dropped significantly since January 2019 and have seen one of the sharpest drops in recent history in the month of March. The mortgage rates are at a 14-month low currently which is great news for buyers and home owners that might be looking to refinance. 

You may be asking, “What will happen next quarter?” Well, one thing that is for certain is that favorable conditions come slowly and unfavorable ones come fast. I wish I had a magic 8 ball that could tell me what lies ahead but there is no way to be sure. There is uncertainty about the future of the market for 2019 and most experts still project that rates will rise throughout the year. It’s possible that the rates we are seeing at the time of writing will be as good as they get for 2019. 

Real estate values in our community appear to have stabilized while the availability of properties in the Vail Valley remains low. One key takeaway is that this might be the best time to refinance for some time if you missed the low rates from 14 months ago. The real estate and mortgage markets will be something to keep close eye on over the next few months as the uncertainty about the economy continues. 

Matt Gruesbeck is the Assistant Vice President of FirstBank – Eagle County.  He is a board member of the Vail Chamber and Business Association.